Workout for the Time-Crunched Triathlete: Faking the Long Run

by Coach Abe Tayag, ITU Level 1 Coach

The Long Run is a staple in most of triathletes’ training plans.   It is the foundation of base training and is essential to those doing middle to long distance races.  The extended effort develops everything from increasing endurance by producing capillaries and mitochondria in your muscle cells, improving your cardiovascular and oxygen uptake, strengthening your musculoskeletal system and prolonging your body’s ability to fight off muscle fatigue.

The problem is, the long run workout needs to be 90 minutes or more to be effective, which is not suitable for some age group triathletes who only has an hour to allot on a given day.   This is the greatest and most common dilemma among the age groupers:  allotting training time amidst a fairly demanding daily schedule-family time and home activities , work, errands and other commitments.

While this workout may not hold true with “time on your legs” required with slow long runs, hill running in one hour will be close to what a 90 minute run on flat surface will do in developing musculoskeletal strength and endurance and cardio uptake.

Warm up:  15 minutes Easy (RPE of 1-2), with the last 5-6 minutes in short hills

Main Work-out: 30-40 minutes of Hill Work or REPS, (RPE 3) but stay below 80-85% of max heart rate

Cool Down:  5 minutes Easy Jog (RPE 1)

Workout Progression: The main workout may start at the first 2-3 weeks as hill reps, with the jog down as easy recovery.   As your fitness improves, you may progress to a non-stop hill running if you find a suitable hilly route.

See also:  10 Core Exercises for Triathletes

Training Tip:  To be efficient at hill running, you can lean slightly from the hips, but keep your shoulders pulled back still (not hunched).   Slightly exaggerate the swinging of the arms, and take shorter strides.   Consider this as a long run on your schedule, never doing it more than once a week.

Coach Abe Tayag has been doing triathlons since 2004 and a consistent competitive age grouper in the Philippines.  Abe, an ITU Level 1 certified coach since 2006, is coaching around the Clark and Pampanga area and you may reach him with his email abetayag@yahoo.com and contact number:  +639285215996/+639175667292

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